Mathematics Department

Head of Faculty:  Mrs E.J. Parker.

YEARS  7 – 9

Pupils have six lessons per week and are currently taught in form groups in Year 7.  The Year 8 forms are set into five groups according to ability with the five Year 9 forms being split into six sets, three in each half year.  Work in Years 7- 9 follows on from the National Curriculum in KS2, with the majority of students exceeding national targets by the end of the course. The content of Mathematics in Years 7 - 9 meets the requirements of the National Curriculum for KS3 and pupils are tested at regular intervals throughout the Key Stage. 

Calculators can be purchased directly from the finance Office when pupils start in September.  

YEARS 10 -11

In Years 10 and 11, pupils will follow the higher tier programmes of study for Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum and the examination board we use is Edexcel.  Pupils are set according to mathematical ability, with three sets in each half year group, and movement between sets is usually possible, subject only to the students’ abilities and best interests. Each student will sit three papers at the end of year 11, one non-calculator and the other two calculator, at either Higher or Foundation Tier as appropriate. Whilst it is envisaged that almost all of the students will be entered for the higher tier, it should be recognised that grades 4 and 5 are also available from the Foundation tier and it may be appropriate for some students, therefore, to enter at this level.  Decisions about the level of entry will be delayed as long as practicable.

There is no coursework or controlled assessment in GCSE Mathematics.  Instead, questions dealing with ‘using and applying standard techniques’, ‘reasoning, interpreting and communicating mathematically’ and ‘solving problems within Mathematics and other contexts’ will be addressed in the papers.  All attainment targets will, therefore, be assessed in the formal examinations.  It is most important that students have the correct mathematical equipment and bring it to lessons; in particular, they should have their own scientific calculator.

Homework is an important feature of the Mathematics course and will be set and marked regularly.  Students are tested at appropriate intervals and they are expected to revise thoroughly for all tests and examinations.

YEARS 12 - 13

In Years 12 and 13, we offer Edexcel’s A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics.  Each is a two year course, running concurrently.

A level Mathematics comprises eight lessons per week in which topics in Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Mechanics are studied for A level.  AS Mathematics is co-teachable with A level.

A level Further Mathematics takes an extra eight lessons per week and students will build on their mathematical experience by studying topics in Further Pure Mathematics, Further Statistics and Further Mechanics. As with Mathematics, AS Further Mathematics is co-teachable with A level.

More information can be obtained from the Sixth Form brochure and by taking advantage of the opportunities for discussion with individual teachers and the Head of Faculty, including the A level information evening in November.  Students are expected to take increased responsibility for organising their own work but will be guided and supported by Faculty staff. Students will be advised about the type of calculator they will need at A level.


There are numerous opportunities for students to be involved with extra-curricular aspects of Mathematics.

Via the school’s website, the Mathematics Faculty offers a transitional activity for Year 6 pupils who will be joining the school.  This can be handed in to the pupil’s new Mathematics teacher in September.  In addition, our regular Mathematics club, ‘Pi Shop’ is specifically aimed at Year 7’s.

Pupils from Urmston Grammar School take part in one of three Mathematics Challenges at the appropriate level each year:  Junior for Years 7 and 8; Intermediate for Years 9,10 & 11, and; Senior for Years 12 & 13.  Typically, students in all year groups gain certificates with a few being invited to take part in follow on rounds.

We also enter a mixed Year 8/9 team for the “Team Mathematics Challenge”, and a mixed Year 12/13 team for the senior version.  Year 10 enter the ‘Maths Feast’ which is their equivalent challenge.  Pupils practise in school for a few weeks before competing against other teams at the University of Manchester.

Educational visits have been made by the Sixth Form to the Maths Inspiration lectures.  This has become a regular feature of our work and is greatly enjoyed.

Students in Years 12 & 13 are also given more opportunities to use their Mathematics in the community.  This has resulted mainly in primary school placements as part of the Lower Sixth Form Enrichment Programme (COPE) and these have a distinctly mathematical bias.  In addition, Upper Sixth Formers in particular have been able to assist with the Mathematics Club for our Year 7 pupils and opportunities have been given, wherever possible, for them to help out in lessons with our own KS3 pupils.

KS3 and KS4 pupils can enter Manchester University's Alan Turing Centenary Cryptography competition in which they face coded messages of varying levels of difficulty which they solve by working together in teams.

A mixed Upper School and Sixth Form team typically enter Southampton University’s Cipher Challenge in the autumn term.  Groups perform well against other teams nationally and have the chance to put their Mathematical skills to good use, cracking codes and deciphering messages.

Finally, we offer a short residential trip to Bletchley Park and London. This is a biennial event for Sixth Form mathematicians and includes a variety of mathematically based workshops in both locations.

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